UTS commissioned BKA to design a fit-out that will house two of UTS new and highly anticipated courses, the Bachelor of Creative Innovation and Intelligence (BCII) and a Masters of Animation and Visualisation (MAV). Delivered in collaboration with Animal Logic, an award winning creative studio, the MAV course will be the first industry led pot-graduate degree of its kind in Australia.
This new fit-out provides students and academic staff a diverse range of professionally-equipped workshops; laboratories and academic offices, project rooms and studio spaces. In addition to providing new academic spaces, the University’s brief was two-fold; to provide an active studio based environment which will engender student and staff collaboration across projects; and to provide a space that will maximise flexibility of use.
Located on levels 3 & 4 of UTS’s heritage listed Building 15, the plan for the fit-out is simple.
A large open plan studio space sits central to each floor complementing the array of heritage columns that support it. This allows for seamless movement across the floor and a flexibility of use to accommodate both large exhibitions and smaller group work. This builds upon the University’s desire for a collaborative environment and challenges the preconception of heavily enclosed workshops that often remain unseen.
To further maximise flexibility, BKA have specified all furniture in the open studio and meeting areas to be moveable and stackable. The multipurpose nature of all partition walls which have been designed to be usable for drawing, projection, presentation and storage is also key to this flexibility.
From the open studio, students and staff are able to break out to the informal gathering spaces and meeting rooms situated along the existing window wall of both floors, leveraging the natural light from Mary Ann Street. This open and collaborative space stitches together the more formal and enclosed supporting spaces located around the perimeter. Editing rooms and screening rooms occupy the sides facing Omnibus Lane and Harris Street of Level 4, designated for WAV cohort, whilst the formal offices for academic staff and Animal Logic are located on level 3 closest to Harris Street.
Utilising a limited palette of materials and introducing colour sparingly through furniture and carpet, the fit-out seeks to build upon the existing heritage character and to maintain the material integrity of the building. The result is a series of flexible spaces that encourage collaboration and celebrates the University’s commitment to design innovation.